Manchester United have received a blow in their short-term hopes of signing Pedro Rodriguez after Barcelona announced Neymar has been diagnosed with mumps – and thus they are likely to delay the departure of his Spanish stand-in.
Pedro has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks after he himself revealed frustration over the lack of playing time at the Nou Camp – with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez ahead of him in Luis Enrique's pecking order
"The first team medical staff at FC Barcelona has announced Neymar will be out for two weeks after being diagnosed with mumps, despite the fact that he had previously been vaccinated against the disease," the club revealed on their official club website.
Neymar will miss the European Super Cup final on 11 August against Sevilla and the Spanish Super Cup double encounter against Athletic Bilbao on 14 and 17 August. He is also a doubt for the La Liga opener on 23 August.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique had previously claimed that he wanted Pedro to stay at the Nou Camp to serve as back up for his attacking trio. However, with Pedro keen to move to Old Trafford the club were expected to let him go for something close to his €30m (£21.2m, $32.8m) release clause after the European Super Cup against Sevilla.
However, AS claim that Neymar's illness means Barcelona are once again anxious to retain the services of Pedro. Sport adds that Louis van Gaal would ideally have him at the club for Manchester United's Champions League play-off clash against Club Brugge on 18 August.
Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo reports that Manchester City could be looking to hijack the deal, contacting Barca to enquire over the forward's availability.